Saturday, December 16, 2017
Public safety

Tax services company raided in fraud investigation

BROOKSVILLE — A couple of local taxpayers came to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office recently, worried about how their tax returns were filed.

The taxpayers said something didn't seem right about the returns, completed by LBS Tax Services, said Detective Bill Horvath.

"They were afraid they were going to get in trouble because of the way the taxes were handled," Horvath said.

On Monday, a joint task force of investigators armed with a search warrant raided the company's Spring Hill and Brooksville offices. No arrests were made, but evidence that was seized will be part of an ongoing investigation into suspected fraudulent tax returns, Horvath said.

The investigation is the result of efforts by the Tampa Area Alliance Financial Crimes Task Force. On the scene at Monday's raids were authorities from the Sheriff's Office, the Brooksville Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the Secret Service.

Detectives are reviewing seized documents, but also hope LBS customers will come forward to help with the investigation, Horvath said. Investigators want to talk to anyone who was advised how to increase the amount of their return using questionable methods regarding income or expenses.

"We're not looking to get the person who filed the returns in trouble," he said. "We're looking for cooperation from them so we can uncover every stone."

Horvath can be contacted at (352) 797-3732 or [email protected]

Customers are also urged to contact the IRS to be sure their returns are in order.

A message left Tuesday at the LBS office at the office at 10546 Spring Hill Drive was not returned.

A woman who answered the phone at the number listed for the office at 973 W Jefferson St. identified herself as Luequita Jackson, a district sales manager. She declined to comment.

Reach Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

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